Optical Illusion to Slow Down Florida Drivers
Closer road lines may get drivers to brake in pilot program
By Arden Dier, Newser Staff
Posted Sep 13, 2013 11:51 AM CDT
A Florida pilot program will put road hash lines closer together in the hopes drivers will slow down.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – If you can't get drivers to slow down on their own, why not trick them into it? That's the idea behind a pilot program in Florida that will give drivers the illusion they're driving faster than they are. How exactly? With road "hash marks" painted gradually closer together so drivers think they're getting to them sooner—thus they slow down, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports. A similar concept was tried in the state in the 1990s but has since been phased out, and engineers are ready to give it another try—even though a test of the program made "not much of a difference" a few years ago, according to a Department of Transportation rep.

Research showed the tactic resulted in just a 1mph to 2mph drop in speed in the 1990s, a county director says; in Kansas and Virginia, however, the program cut speeds by up to 5mph. But locals seem desperate for something to slow down drivers on Fort Lauderdale's Andrews Avenue, the first testing ground. "Our residents have, for years, complained about the dangerous speeding and aggressive driving on Andrews," says the VP of the local civic association. "Vehicles have plowed into yards, fences, and houses." If all goes well, the program will be expanded.

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Joe Methuen
May 10, 2015 11:06 AM CDT
In California, we would start by installing speed cameras every 100 feet or so to generate revenue for the city by ticketing everyone because the speed limit would go from 70 mph to 5 mph in a matter of feet. Then, have approximately 50 Highway Patrol cars hiding behind every barrier using the latest laser technology, chasing everyone down and ticketing them for being 1 mph over the speed limit. Then, build a giant overpass that looks like a giant plate of spaghetti with ramps and bridges going everywhere, and then add highway signs every 20 feet with at least 10 arrows on each so that 99 out of 100 drivers end up going on the wrong ramp. Throw in a a bunch of roundabouts and one way streets, all unclearly marked, and presto! Problem solved!
Sep 15, 2013 11:45 AM CDT
I've always said, "engineers and architecs are educated idiots".
Sep 13, 2013 10:14 PM CDT
If this problem is so persistent, why not - oh, I don't know - have a cop sit there once in a while?